For people who are stationed at or are an employee of, the bases here, the ID card (or as it is called, the Common Access Card or CAC card) is very important. It's mandatory for so many things, from entering the base, to shopping at most of the stores on base, to even using one's work computer. It's very difficult, if not impossible, to do anything without the ID.
Guess who doesn't have her ID yet? Yep, that would be me. I arrived Thursday and as far as I know, I'm not even in the system yet so I can't even make an appointment to get the ID. In fact, I cannot even seem to get an answer if I'm in the system or not; I called the office three times today to ask if I'm in it and I was asked to call back later each time to find out.
My coworkers must sign me in each time we go to a base, which has been a lot lately. I can't sign up for the work email for my institution. That email is required to access many of the mandatory training modules I must complete. I can't do any work, period, on my computer. I can't buy items at the commissary on my own, but at least I am very lucky and have kind coworkers who take me over to buy things.
It can take a week to 10 days to get the card. I'm not sure why, but my guess would be it's because there are so many people in-processing through here (there are about 50,000 of us in the area) and many of the offices here seem short-staffed. I will be very thankful when I have the ID, that's for sure!